Re: Giving a presentation on memetics

From: Dace (
Date: Tue 29 Nov 2005 - 20:52:25 GMT

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    > I'm an undergraduate University student in Derby, England. As part of
    > my coursework for the Philosophy of AI module I am studying, I am
    > giving a presentation on memetics, which is an area of great interest
    > to me.
    > Does anyone have any ideas? Or any advice about the talk in general?

    You might want to bring up the concept of agency. In pursuing replication, memes become causative agents within human culture. The result is that human agency is displaced by memetic agency. Instead of rationally determining what we believe, we let memes do our thinking for us. An obvious example is the rise of Nazism in Germany following World War I. The Nazi meme successfully replicated because it enabled Germans, including Hitler, to expel their shame and anxiety by shifting the blame for defeat onto Jews, Roma, etc. Just as natural environments select for some species over others, the psychological environment of post-Versailles Germany selected for the Nazi meme. Wherever human agency is displaced, for whatever reason, memes must pick up the slack.


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